Israel’s defense minister says government must decide post-war Gaza rule

Published: Updated:
Read Mode
100% Font Size
3 min read

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was publicly challenged over post-war plans for the Gaza Strip on Wednesday by his own defense chief, who vowed to oppose any long-term military rule by Israel over the ravaged Palestinian enclave.

Netanyahu said later on Wednesday that any move to establish an alternative to Hamas as the government of Gaza required that the Palestinian militant group first be eliminated, and demanded this goal be pursued “without excuses.”

His remarks, in a video statement posted online, followed the public challenge by Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, who accused the government of having avoided a serious discussion of a proposal for a non-Hamas post-war Palestinian administration.

For the latest updates on the Israel-Palestine conflict, visit our dedicated page.

Israeli war cabinet member Benny Gantz voiced support for public dissent aired by the country’s defense chief at Netanyahu’s approach to post-war Gaza planning.

Defense Minister Yoav Gallant “spoke the truth,” Gantz said in a video statement. “The responsibility of leadership is to do right thing for the country, at any price.”

In a televised news conference, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said that, since soon after the conflict erupted with a shock Hamas attack on Oct 7, he had tried to promote a blueprint for an alternative Gaza administration made up of Palestinians.

Those efforts “got no response” from various decision-making cabinet forums under Netanyahu, said Gallant, who comes from the prime minister’s Likud party.

“I call on the prime minister to announce that Israel will not rule over Gaza militarily,” Gallant said. “An alternative to Hamas governance should be established ... Indecision will erode the military gains (of the war).”

There was no immediate response from Netanyahu, who earlier on Wednesday issued a statement that appeared to be a riposte to similar remarks aired by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

Netanyahu has said Israel, if it achieves its war goal of dismantling Hamas’ government and military apparatus in Gaza, would retain overall security control over the territory.

He has stopped short of describing this scenario as an occupation.

He has also balked at proposals for the internationally-backed Palestinian Authority (PA), which wields some governance in the occupied West Bank, to move back into a post-war Gaza.

Netanyahu has accused the PA of being hostile to Israel, but his governing coalition also relies on ultra-nationalist partners which want the PA dismantled and for Jewish settlements to be expanded to Gaza.

Read more:

Netanyahu says he hopes Israel can get aid, overcome US disagreements

Blinken says Israel needs a clear and concrete plan for Gaza’s future

Palestinian statehood key to Gulf and Arab plans for post-war Gaza

Top Content Trending